Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the 12th Wildlife Damage Management Conference (D.L. Nolte, W.M. Arjo, D.H. Stalman, Eds). 2007


Several factors may be responsible for increasing predator abundance in suburbia. These include an enhanced forage base associated with residential sprawl, and protection of predator species that were once persecuted and suppressed by hunters, trappers, and landowners. In the Northeast, anecdotal reports of coyotes (Canis latrans) killing pets in backyards are on the rise. The bulk of coyote complaints, concerns, and questions received from the public by state wildlife agencies are from areas with high human populations. Scant research exists on coyote behavioral ecology in human-altered landscapes. Biologists and managers need to understand changes in the social structure and territorial behavior of coyotes. It is important to know when a predator is active and where it forages, especially in relation to human activity. The emerging picture of suburban coyotes is that they move quickly over long distances through human-dominated landscapes, foraging opportunistically. Data concerning birth rates and survivorship are needed to model future population growth. Reliable and cost-effective census techniques are currently lacking. The impact of growing and more visible coyote populations on deer abundance is a concern in some areas. Studying coyotes in residential areas will provide baseline data for public education programs to reduce human behaviors that may increase coyote conflicts.